Thursday, 05 April 2018 | PNS | Dehradun– At a time when various areas of the State are experiencing acute water shortage with the onset of summer, the Jal Sansthan seems to be focused on the upcoming Char Dham Yatra slated to resume from April 18. Senior departmental officials claimed that necessary arrangements have been made to provide drinking water to the pilgrims during the Yatra season.  Meanwhile, around 450 saints and pilgrims who have completed their registration for going to the pilgrimage on foot has started their journey from Rishikesh on Wednesday. It should be mentioned here that the portals of two shrines- Gangotri and Yamunotri- would reopen for the devotees on April 18 while the same of Kedarnath would reopen on April 29 and of Badrinath on April 30. Jal Sansthan officials said that they are now leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the pilgrims face no water crisis during the pilgrimage to the four shrines.  “A total of 928 hand pumps have been installed on the Char Dham Yatra routes. A total of 48 hand pumps have been installed in Pauri while 81 in Chamoli, 161 in Rudraprayag, 460 in Tehri and 178 in Tehri,” an officer of the department said, adding that  things are now being put into place as the pilgrimage would gain momentum in the coming days. They further said that Jal Sansthan has kept in store the raw materials required for construction of fresh water points for the pilgrims when the yatra begins. “If they are found damaged or water source is found affected we will immediately install the new ones to ensure uninterrupted water supply. We are confident that by April 28, water services would be up and running,” one of the officials said. The department had earlier installed 473 pillar type stand post (PTSP) on this route out of which 378 are presently functional.  While 17 PTSPs have been functional in Pauri, 71 in Chamoli, 116 in Rudraprayag, 43 in Tehri, 52 in Uttarkashi and 79 in Rishikesh (Dehradun). The officers said that they are now working hard to make remaining PTSPs functional in no time. They further said while dwelling on the preparation for the pilgrimage that 249 tank-type stand post (TTSP) have been installed on this route out of which 232 are now functional. While 30 TTSPs are now functional in Pauri, 46 are in Chamoli, 46 in Rudraprayag, 42 in Tehri, 56 in Uttarkashi and 12 in Rishikesh (Dehradun). Efforts are on to make the rest functional, the officers added. It is further learnt from the department officers that they had earlier constructed 49 cattle troughs on this track for mules and horses. Out of 49, 29 are operational while officials are working to make the closed ones functional. However, the department is being criticised by the people for having its gaze fixed on the Char Dham Yatra. They say though they have nothing to say on the steps being taken by the department in the interest of the pilgrims the department must show at least a part of the empathy for the people of the State many of whom are reeling under grim drinking water crisis in proportion to the surge in the mercury. “The department must spare some of their energy for us too as our water woe is worsening with passing days,” says a senior citizen from Dehradun.

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